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The Mission of the Larkin DNA Project is to:

1. Provide a focus for persons with the Larkin surname and its variants from around the world to use DNA testing to identify their origins and migratory patterns.

2. Provide assistance to Larkin members with understanding and interpreting their shared DNA test results.

3. Help project members get a discount on DNA testing.

Note that in order to gain new insights, participants should be willing to share their results in a de-identified manner on the project web sites.  It is a two-way street, we gain a wider perspective and genealogy insights on our individual heritage but also help other Larkins researching their heritage through reciprocity and friendliness. 

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Background on the Larkin Surname

Irish Larkins

Within Ireland alone, genealogy authors attribute the name to at least four septs or family groups. The use of surnames is over 1000 years old in Ireland and Larkin derives from just such ancient usage. e.g. Annals of the Four Masters: 1003 Duffslaine O'Lorcain, Abbot of Emly; 1014 Murtough O'Lorcain, Erenagh of Lorrha. As we move forward in history, we find Larkin families throughout Ireland with clusters in the Shannon River Valley (anciently known as Hy Many), Kilkenny, and Armagh counties. e.g. Hearth Money Records: 1667 Loghlin Lorkane of Lorrha; Tithe Applotment Books: 1824 T. Larkin of Lorrha. A lack of written records makes it hard to determine how much migration took place within Ireland, but we know there was movement, not all of it voluntary. e.g. 1653 Dorothy Lorcáin of Co. Tipperary, transplanted to the Barony of Longford Co. Galway, 1653 [Patrick Larkin]

Update March 2007: A couple of strong clusters of DNA results of Irish Larkins are emerging in the results. Both of these clusters are thought to have the 'deep' Irish marker of SNP 222. One of the clusters is very close to the pattern associated with the Niall signature.

English Larkins

Surnames have been in use for commoners for about 800 years in England. The first written use of Larkin as a surname comes from Sussex and Kent counties in the late 1200s. e.g. Sussex Subsidy Rolls: 1296 Adam Lartkyn and Thomas Lorekyn [David Larkin]. Larkin families were also located in Suffolk, Cambridge and Bedford counties. The industrial revolution not only caused significant migration of Larkins within England, it also led many Irish Larkins to come to England for jobs. Some of those families never left, although their descendants today may have no idea of their family's origin.

Colonial Larkins

British colonization of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa spread many of our forefathers around the globe during the past 400 years. Some groups of Larkin are fortunate enough to know where and when their ancestor left the old country. Some groups are not so fortunate or have only a vague notion that is not easily researched. A typical example found on a genealogical message board:

"My great grandfather, Steven Larkin and his brother came to America in early 1800's.They settled in Humphreys Co, TN. Michael left and went to Chattanooga, TN where he was a railroad worker. This is all I have on Michael. Would like to find out where in Ireland they came from."

In other cases, the emigration was so long ago that most descendants have lost the story of their ancestor. e.g. Edward Larkin, wheel maker of Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1638; Thomas Larkin died 1731 in Maryland. Often people today can only guess at their ancestry.


Test Don't Guess

With modern DNA testing, we can get scientific evidence of how the Larkin Clans are related to each other and all human-kind. Some of the findings will be consistent with existing genealogies, some will not.

Geneticist and author Bryan Sykes (best known for his book, "The Seven Daughters of Eve") did a DNA study on his own surname. Written genealogy sources indicated that the Sykes name started in unrelated groups across England and Scotland. But on testing the DNA, Bryan found 52% had very similar DNA and thus shared a close common ancestor.

Through the Larkin DNA Project every male Larkin today can use the Y-DNA 37-marker test to identify his own genetic signature. By combining the DNA results of a large sampling with our existing knowledge, we should be able to get a much clearer picture of the origins of the Larkin Clans and how their members dispersed through the world.

The 37 marker test is the most effective way to start your DNA profile and you get a significant discount by participating in the Larkin DNA Project. This test also focuses on the main Y-chromosome markers helpful in identifying common ancestors on the order of hundreds of years (i.e. the period when surnames were in use but census and other documentation are scarce.)

You don't have to wait for the TV program Who Do You Think You Are to come to your door, take the initiative and join the Larkin DNA Project today!


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